We’ve all heard the saying – ‘don’t knock it until you try it.’ And while the adage may not have been referring to travel, or any one destination, there’s no doubt it can be applied to this often overlooked paradise.
Norfolk Island has long been a popular destination for travellers who belong to an older, more mature demographic. The island is quiet, the scenery is beautiful, there’s plenty to enjoy in the way of history, and the food is excellent – but more on that later.
What travellers often fail to see however, is that there’s a whole other side to Norfolk Island, one that appeals to nature lovers, outdoor sports and adventure enthusiasts, and organic and free range food lovers – yes, food again!
This only validates the Norfolk Island tourism call, “there’s more to Norfolk Island.” After all, what might seem like a sleepy little place, far removed from the Australian mainland, is a vibrant tourist destination packed with historic sites and attractions. It’s no wonder that visitor numbers continue to grow.
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Landing at the small airport on the island’s western edge, visitors are immediately drawn to the towering Norfolk Pines – the namesake tree which has become the symbol of the island territory.
Although travel to Norfolk Island from Australia is considered domestic travel, passports are required, and all visitors must clear a customs and immigration check, however the process is quick and easy and in no time, you’re on your way to your island retreat.
Being an island, there’s of course plenty of shoreline to explore. From the stunning cliffs at Norfolk Island National Park to the hidden cove at Anson Bay, walking and hiking around the island offers an unmatched scenic journey.
Bird watching and photography go hand-in-hand with the island’s inviting nature trails. Unique to Norfolk Island, the green parrot is a joy to see in the wild.
Beach lovers won’t want to miss Emily Bay Lagoon. Voted one of Australia’s top 100 beaches, the crystal clear waters and gentle tides make this the perfect location for a day out in the sun. At Emily Bay, people of all ages can enjoy a day out swimming and snorkelling.
Surfers too will find plenty of action on the water, and for those who enjoy fishing and kayaking, you’ll find quality tours to guide you along the way.
Kayakers will enjoy exploring the peaceful lagoons and rocky shorelines, while fishing enthusiasts can cast a line in some deep-sea spots.
For an historical perspective, the Kingston area offers visitors a glimpse back to the days of early settlement on the island.
A penal colony dating as far back as the late 1700s, Kingston features historic buildings, ruins and archaeological sites. One celebrated view of historic Kingston is from the heritage listed clubhouse on the beautiful Norfolk Island golf course. Enjoy lunch on the veranda while taking in the hilly Kingston views with its collection of historic sandstone buildings.
Speaking of food, Norfolk Island’s greatest treat might be the myriad of quality restaurants, cafes and eateries dotted across the island. Residents here appreciate locally produced ingredients, and the fresh meats and produce that go into creating deliciously inspired dishes, make for a most beautiful welcome.
And because most foods are locally grown, visitors will find a great mix of seasonal cuisine on offer.
Where to stay on Norfolk Island
Featuring cosy 1-bedroom garden suites, as well as a 2-bedroom villa and large 3-bedroom home, Aartaren Norfolk Island Villas offers comfortable accommodation for couples and families alike.
Free airport transfers on arrival and departure are included, and car rental is available from only $25 per day with Aataren Norfolk Islands Villas direct.
Getting to Norfolk Island
Air New Zealand flies to Norfolk Island from Brisbane, Sydney and Auckland.
- Brisbane – Tuesday and Saturday departures
- Sydney – Monday and Friday departures
- Auckland – Sunday departures
Norfolk Island Travel Tips
- Documentation – Visitors must pass through Customs and Immigration and a passport is required for entry.
- Getting around – Car rental hire is available; however, many hotels provide guests with cars as part of their guest package. Taxi service is available as are push bike rentals. Guided island tours are another option.
- Time difference – Norfolk Island is one hour ahead of Australian Eastern Standard Time. Daylights Savings is not observed on Norfolk Island.
- Climate – Summer highs can climb to 28 degrees, with winter temperatures ranging between 12 and 20 degrees.